Whiten, oh whiten, O clouds of lawn!
Lily-like clouds that whiten above,
Now like a dove, and now like a swan,
But never, oh never pass on! pass on!
Never so white as the throat of my love.
Blue-black night on the mountain peaks
Is not so black as the locks o' my love!
Stars that shine through the evening streaks
Over the torrent that flashes and breaks,
Are not so bright as the eyes o' my love!
Moon in a cloud, a cloud of snow,
Mist in the vale where the rivulet sounds,
Dropping from ledge to ledge below,
Turning to gold in the sunset's glow,
Are not so soft as her footstep sounds.
Sound o' May winds in the blossoming trees,
Is not so sweet as her laugh that rings;
Song o' wild birds on the morning breeze,
Birds and brooks and murmur o' bees,
Are harsh to her voice when she laughs or sings.
The rose of my heart is she, my dawn!
My star o' the east, my moon above!
My soul takes ship for the Avalon
Of her heart of hearts, and shall sail on
Till it anchors safe in its haven of love.